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International magazine Olympic Reporter, September-2010: Olympic interest of Russian and foreign companies the participants of the International Investment Forum Sochi-2010 (2095)
Vancouver does not believe in tears (1886)
Maksim Fyodorov, editor-in-chief of the Publishing House MediaYug  
Flags in hands (1844)
Irina Dymova  
In the ray of fame (1985)
Sports general compulsory education (1894)
Action! (1781)
Russian lottery (2629)
Hello, Father Frost! (1940)
Three years like three days (2074)
Maksim Fyodorov  
The heads of Olympic structures cannot and will not publicly tell anything bad about Sochi (1824)
Maksim Fyodorov  
Get ready for a creation (2470)
Sergey Semyonov  
Varnishing of the Olympic reality (1986)
Games with the French accent (1819)
Star talks to star (2001)
Elena Yakovleva  
Business idea (1990)
The hospitality industry (1911)
International Olympic Friendship (2172)
Billion in a pocket (2127)
Maksim Fyodorov  
That Zhukov (2387)
Sergey Semyonov  
Snow and circuses (1891)
Nikita Logvinov  

The Olympic Games speak and show

3-4 (2010)
Viewed: 1771

From 1984 for 2008 the total income of the IOC from sale of the Games broadcast rights exceeded $10 billion.

On February, 12th, at the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Vancouver, well-known Canadian snowboarder Johnny Lyall, risking to break his neck, has beautifully gone down from high mountain and, having get over almost vertical slope, has driven into «flaring maple leaf» — the world famous Canada symbol, which was made of athletes with the lighted Olympic torches in hands. Having rushed along the fiery avenue, the sportsman has literally «torn» the wall of BC Place covered stadium, and to the enthusiastic roar of 60-thousand people, has flown through burning Olympic rings on the main arena of the future Games. Vancouver action has begun!

However, actually, there were much more eyewitnesses of this tremendous Olympic descent — three billion of spectators, who clang to their TVs, have proved, that the distance in our technical century cannot prevent either from presence effect, or empathy miracle. Half of the Globe was watching TV, having forgotten about personal mess and household problems.

From Berlin to Vancouver.

Everything began in far 1956, during the winter Olympic Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, where the first live broadcast were organized. The amazed world saw moving black-and-white pictures with the fragments of skiers, hockey players and figure skaters competitions.

But, being absolutely fair before history, it is necessary to admit, that the TV era had begun 20 years earlier — during the Olympic Games of 1936 in fascist Berlin. It hadn't been live broadcast, but it had been the first obvious spur to mass TV-broadcast. More than 160 thousand people in three cities of Germany had seen the Games broadcast. However, obvious attempts of a Hitlerite clique to use the Olympic Games for nazi propaganda, had made this theme forbidden for a long time, and not only in our country. The advanced German experience was studied attentively by the big group of the Japanese TV men, as the Olympic Games of 1940 had been planned to be held in Tokyo. But, because of the World War II, they took place only in 1964. But, after almost 30 years, Japanese took a scientific and technical revenge — the Tokyo Olympic Games marked turning point in favour of colour TV. The Olympic Games of 1968 in Mexico City were really television already — about semibillion of spectators were watching them! During the Munich Olympic Games, TV-audience doubled again, and the competitions in Montreal were watched already by 1,4 billion people. The Olympic Games-1980 in Moscow gathered more than 2 billion television fans. Since then, the number of spectators of any Olympic Games is about 2 billion regularly. Live broadcasts from Vancouver have broken the record — the number of TV-fans has grown for billion.

TV-money has no smell. In course of gradual and steady commercialization of the Olympic Games, sponsors have come up to take place of enthusiasts and disinterested persons. Since 1960th the sharp battle for the right to broadcast the main sports event of four years has begun. In 1983 ABC company has got the rights for the Olympic Games broadcast for huge sum —$225 million. In four years in Seoul this sum was$300 million plus$555 million from sponsors. In 2000 NBC company established the next record, having bought the rights to broadcasting of all the Games to 2008 inclusive for$4 billion. From 1984 to 2008 the total income of the IOC from this item exceeded$10 billion. In autumn of 2009 the IOC president Jacques Rogge declared, that the organization headed by him, had signed unprecedented contracts on sale of the rights for TV-broadcast of the future Games. The IOC should get$3,8 for broadcastng of winter Olympic Games-2010 in Vancouver, and summer Olympic Games-2012 in London —$1,2 billion more, than total income from broadcastng of winter Olympic Games-2006 in Turin, and summer Olympic Games-2008 in Beijing. The most part of the income had been provided due to the contract with the same American NBC company, which paid$2,2 billion. More grandiose profits the IOC expects after all contracts, concerning broadcasting of the Olympic Games-2014 in Sochi, and the Olympic Games-2016 in Rio de Janeiro will be signed.

Business is business.

Real tension is growing not only on Olympic arenas, tribunes and TV. Not less vigorous perfomances are regularly played «behind the Games scenes» — between top-sponsors of the Olympic Games and media business sharks.

Forking out a fair amount of money to the IOC for the sake of possibility to organize broadcasts for the spectators, TV-channels try to compensate astronomical sums at any cost. The main way of «paying back» are for a long time «vast tariffs» for the advertisers, trying to promote the brand during the Olympic Games.

However at a present stage of development of Olympic movement TV-companies are losing their positions. Crisis has made amendments to advertising budgets of the majority of business structures, and losses from failed deals will be the incubment upon broadcasting companies. So, according to NBC estimations, broadcasting Vancouver competitions in the USA, it will lose about$250 million on coverage of the Olympic Games because of unsold advertising time. The company management hopes that by 2012 the situation in the world will improve a little, — after all, the contracts on broadcasting from London are already signed.

My dear capital.

Certainly, Russia did not stood aside of the big television business «with Olympic smack». It was communistic Moscow, which began to master this klondike. Despite leading capitalist powers boycott of the Olympic Games-1980, the capital of USSR had come to the summer Games fully technically armed. It had been clearly shown, that we «take the leading place» not only in the spheres of space and ballet.

Specially for broadcasting of XXII summer Games, Olympic television and radio complex (OTRC) with 22 television studios equipped with technics of the third generation, and the Olympic switching centre (OSC) were built in five years in Ostankino. Work and talent of the best specialists of the country created new powerful system, which provided the broadcast of 20 international television and 100 radio programs. For those who organized the Olympic Games-1980, the recognition of foreign colleagues from the leading broadcasting companies — EBU, OIRT and BBC became the best estimation. High level of broadcasting had shown to the world that there are strong industry and talented experts in the USSR. By the way, problems of the Olympic heritage, so fashionable now, were solved optimally in 1980.

As it had been planned, after Olympic Games OTPC and OSC began the broadcasting of 1st and 2nd programs of the Central TV, and also radio programs on all territory of the country taking into account six time zones. It became the mark in the history of domestic TV and not only.

The international representatives of national channels, who arrived to the Soviet Olympic Games, including NBC, paid vast sums for broadcasting of the Games from «Evil Empire», and also for technical services. Vice-president of the USSR Gosteleradio Henry Yushkyavichus in his interview to magazine «Round the world» commented on this fact quite bourgeois maxim: «I will tell right away, that we used the competition existing between leading broadcasting companies of the USA. Well, business is business».

Unformatted TV.

The competition for an Olympic TV large sum exists not only between the companies of different powers and regions, but also between «TV teams» of the same country. In Russia «friends-contenders» in nice business of creation of Olympic chronicles traditionally are the teams of the 1st channel and All-Russian State Television and Radio Company (RSTRC). The main feature of «the great friendship» of the «First» channel and «Russia» channel — in the creation of the joint sports satellite channel «2 Sports 2» in High Definition format. However, the majority of spectators on immense Russian territory appeared not to be ready to take technical novelty: the progressive format, allowing to watch any program «as real», needs necessary special connection (not cheap) TV-receiver and additional HD-package.

To tell the truth — to watch" below the average" performance of the Russian national team in Vancouver in the maximum approach and picturesque details — is too nervous thing. So, probably, this time technical backlog has helped Russians and has rescued especially nervous from litres of Corvalol and Valerian. After all, even on old «TV-box» TV-viewers could see the dramatic situations of the last Olympic Games — the absurd death of the young Georgian bobsleigher Nodar Kumaritashvili, «silver disappointment» of the greatest Olympic hope of the Russian Federation — figure skater Evgeny Plyushchenko," bloody hockey match" Norway — Slovakia, and a tremendous victory of the Slovene skier Petra Majdic, who has come to finish the third with four broken ribs and damaged lung.

Really, thanks to TV, the majority of us, who are far from sports and real struggle of people, can see what means sports character or its absence. Olympic TV, reducing the distance, makes us not only the spectators of grandiose international performance, but also the participators of bitter defeats and great victories. And, seeing the better days modern world, would definitely fall into a rut, commercialism and prosaicness without these inspiring, each two years promising a miracle words: «The Olympic Games speak and show».

Sportsmen failures didn't affect the volume of sold TV-advertising

Vladimir Evstafyev, the vice-president of Association of communicative agencies of Russia (ACAR):

— When Russians in Vancouver began to lose seriously, interest of people to the Olympic Games has died away a little. Nevertheless, advertisers are not disappointed: nobody of them removed the advertising from the broadcast. Irrespective of how much financially successful the Games in Canada would be, advertisers would queue up by the time of Olympic Games in Sochi. All the more, the crisis phenomena will not play such role as today any more.

Games-2014 are the unique chance to modernize domestic TV techical level

Alexey Malinin, the assistant to the general director — the head of technological department of RSTRC:

— The Olympic Games are the engine of new television technologies. The IOC is interested in the attraction of broadcast specialists from the country, where the Games are spent. Russia in this respect has a unique chance — to modernise technical base of domestic TV with sports bias. First of all, we will focus on region branches,where sports play great role, and where there is a certain set of experts to depend on.

The majority of Russian subscribers preferred standard broadcasting of the Vancouver Olympic Games to the HD-broadcasting

Dmitry Petrovsky, the general director of Internet newspaper ComNews:

— The last Olympic Games could have become for Russia a powerful start to HDTV development. But, it seems to me, have not become. There are some obvious reasons for that. And the first, of course, is, that HDTV is only gaining popularity in the country. The majority of subscribers simply does not have necessary connection, regular TV and HD-package. The second is sluggishness of broadcasting companies.

Author: Irina Rodina